September 5th opens the annual Governor’s Island Art Fair, which exists to highlight works by newly discovered or emerging artists from around the world. It will be open every Saturday and Sunday throughout the month.
The fair, which is in its 8th year, has expanded out of its traditional site in the historic Colonel’s Row, once the homes of military officers in the 19th and early 20th century, to also include the Fort Jay magazine, six huge brick chambers underneath the adjacent Fort Jay. Between the two sites, a plethora of outdoor installations will create a pathway of art from one to the other for visitors to enjoy.
Devotees of any kind of art medium will find something to their taste here. The fair includes over 100 artists and several independent galleries. Artists include Rachel Rampleman, whose work lies somewhere between time-based installation and experimental video; Megan Suttles and her mixed media installations about anxiety; and Chin-Lung Chaung with interactive exhibits that impose surreality on their audience-participants.
Each exhibiting artist is given a full room or outdoor space in which to install their work, to encourage them to fully express their creative instincts without having to worry about being overshadowed or clashed.
Featured artists are selected by a rigorous review process. The leadership of the fair, non-profit organization 4heads, had to cull more than a thousand submissions to select the favored few. But once chosen, the lucky artists benefit from 4head’s ‘hands-off’ policy, having near-complete control over their assigned spaces. They are encouraged but not required to engage with the historic narratives of the Island.
Governor’s Island Art Fair is only a 10-minute ferry ride from Manhattan but provides a sense of gentle isolation and peace. The ferry is free until noon each day and only $2 per round-trip after. Admission to the GIAF is free. Hours for the fair are Saturday and Sunday through September, 11am – 6pm.